Well, we can’t say promoter Bob Arum didn’t warn us. The Top Rank boss was always more than a little bit sceptical over the talked of $38 million super-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan actually taking place. Both fighters announced the fight on twitter as a done deal, with the fight set for April, then May 20, at a location to be determined; most likely in the UAE.
But now, in speaking with ESPN.com, Arum says the money failed to materialise from the mysterious UAE money men, just as he feared might be the case. Without the money in place, Arum said last week, talk of the fight happening is just that, talk.
“Michael [Koncz] is on his way back to meet with Manny but it’s kaddish for the UAE deal. It’s dead,” Arum told ESPN.com. “I’m talking to him about another proposal for another fight, not Khan. Khan won’t be Manny’s next opponent.”
This sounds about as final as can be, with Arum not mincing his words one bit. Still, in a story via Nick Parkinson, Khan is said to be unwilling to let go of the monster fight just yet. According to “a source close to Khan,” “the group of business men representing the Briton in talks have refused to accept Arum’s analysis.”
“They are still confident of the fight happening,” the source said Wednesday. “If it is going to happen, something will happen in the next couple days. There are a group of people with businesses in the UK who Amir knows well, and they are handling the negotiations for the Pacquiao fight for him. They are still confident it can materialise. They think the money in the UAE is not an issue.”
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take the word of Arum over a “source close to Khan” who is talking about businessmen. Khan of course is desperate for his dream fight to come off, but it seems that right now Pacquiao-Khan is nothing more than a dream fight.
It will be interesting to see who Pac-Man faces next after all; maybe it will be originally announced foe Jeff Horn? As for Khan, if he doesn’t get the May shot at Pacquiao, he’d better get himself another fight and quick. Pretty soon, Khan will have been out of action for a full year, last seen as he was being KO’d by Canelo Alvarez last May.